Fifty-four percent of SMBs have a Facebook page, making it the most used form of media for advertising and promotion according to BIA/Kelsey‘s Local Commerce Monitor™. LinkedIn is the second most used form of social media with 28 percent of SMBs using it, followed by Twitter at 24.3 percent.
Looking at Facebook pages specifically, acquiring customers is the main objective for SMBs. Unfortunately, according to BIA/Kelsey’s Consumer Commerce Monitor™, only 21.8 percent of consumers use a company’s Facebook page regularly for local shopping. Not only that, but according to an infographic by Lab42, 46 percent of consumers who like a brand on Facebook have no intention of buying from them.
While a plurality of SMBs still view Facebook as a lead generator, they seem to be inching in the direction of using social more as an engagement platform. In last year’s LCM, 42.7 percent of SMBs said the primary purpose of their Facebook page was to acquire customers as opposed to this year’s 38.1 percent.
Despite not necessarily intending to buy, consumers clearly do want to engage with SMBs on social media. According to the Consumer Commerce Monitor, the average consumer has become a “fan” of, “liked”, “followed”, etc. a local business four times in the last six months.
Given that consumers are looking to engage, SMBs should shift their focus from acquiring customers to building community and awareness. Several companies are experts in assisting SMBs to achieve this, including Main Street Hub, Yodle, and Hootsuite.